COVID-19: Misconceptions, self-perceived risk and compliance with preventive measures in rural Southwest Nigeria

Joshua O. Akinyemi, University of Ibadan
Olanrewaju Eniade, University of Ibadan
Ojo M. Agunbiade, Obafemi Awolowo University/ Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Mobolaji Salawu, University of Ibadan
Sanni Yaya, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ottawa, Canada
Olufunmilayo Fawole, University of Ibadan

We assessed misconceptions, self-perceived risk and compliance with preventive measures of COVID-19 in rural Southwest Nigeria. Data were collected in a community-based cross-sectional survey between June and August 2020.The dependent variables were (1) self-perceived risk of COVID-19 infection; and (2) preventive compliance. Misconceptions about COVID-19 include: COVID-19 is not real it’s just a propaganda (13.8%); it only affects rich people and those who travel abroad (35.6%); it cannot affect people in rural areas (50.0%); there are local herbal treatments for COVID-19 (55.8%). About two-third (65.0%) rated themselves as having a medium risk of infection. Further, 76.7% had average compliance with preventive measures. Factors significantly associated with medium self-perceived risk of COVID-19 includes misconceptions about availability of local herbal treatment (OR=1.58, CI: 1.41-1.77); male sex (OR=0.69, CI: 0.54-0.89); primary education (OR=0.65, CI: 0.50-0.77); being a visitor in study community (OR=1.15, CI: 1.07-1.24). Factors associated with preventive compliance include belief that COVID-19 was not real (OR=0.61, CI: 0.47-0.79); traditional religion (OR=0.22, CI: 0.06-0.72); mobility in the preceding 12 months (OR=1.52, CI: 1.34-1.73); and high self-perceived risk (OR=7.04, CI: 1.53-32.53).Targeted information, awareness, and educational campaigns are necessary to correct misconceptions about COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19, Demographic and social surveys, Health and morbidity

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session 149. Estimating COVID-19 Risks and Self-Perceptions